This parking is for Veterans, lady. Learn to read and have some respect.

That is what a hastily written note said that a North Carolina woman found on her car when she exited a store on Tuesday.  Her name is Rebecca Hayes, and what this person chastising her didn't realize is that Hayes served 8 years in the navy.

She immediately took to the internet and posted this response:

To the person who left this note on my windshield today at the Coddle Creek Harris Teeter in Concord, NC:

I know I parked in one of the Veteran Parking spaces today, it was hot. I had been in and out of my car several times already this afternoon, and I was only going to be a minute. Besides, the parking lot was full, so I just did it. It was the first time, and I won’t do it again. I’m sorry…

I’m sorry that you can’t see my eight years of service in the United Sates Navy. I’m sorry that your narrow misogynistic world view can’t conceive of the fact that there are female Veterans. I’m sorry that I have to explain myself to people like you. Mostly, I’m sorry that we didn’t get a chance to have this conversation face to face, and that you didn’t have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to identify yourself, qualities the military emphasizes.

Which leads to one question, I served, did you?

I posted the story on my personal Facebook page, connecting it with my female friends who have served.  Their insight into being a female veteran is pretty eye-opening, and very upsetting:

  • "I have gone to the VA and VFW and been questioned... I had a vet say, 'Oh...so your husband wants to join the VFW?' I said, 'No, just me.' He said, Oh, that's cute.'" - Sam A.
  • "I had on an Army tee when donating blood (at a drive hosted at a neighboring town's Legion) and the volunteer invited me to join the Ladies Auxiliary. When I told her I was a Vet and Legion member myself, she replied, 'I assumed you were wearing your husband's t-shirt.'" - Trina R.
  • "Geoff regularly gets calls about his VA loan - he never served." - Jeanne L.
  • "We bought our house with a VA loan last year. Now my husband gets VA mail." - Bonnifer B.

To all the servicewomen out there, I'm sorry you're not given your fair shake for having served like our male counterparts.